24 May 2011

What I would give to have Theda Skocpol as Senate Majority Leader!

That the prime minister of Israel is dissing and lying about the U.S. president is offensive. Whatever hay he makes with Congress today is at the price of American support over the long run. Time is definitely not on the right-wing Israeli government's side.

Congressional Democrats should be ashamed of themselves for joining in the fake "pro-Israel" chest-thumping. Of course negotiations must happen, but it is up to Israel and the Palestinians to do them -- just as the president said. Reid should not undercut the U.S. president.

19 May 2011

I congratulate Don Lemon on his recent coming out.

And to Raynard Jackson, who complains that the public doesn't need to know about Don Lemon's sex life, well, I listened to this long interview with Don, his boyfriend Ben, and radio host Mike Signorile (3 gay men in a room together-I don't know how they kept their clothes on) and still I know less about Don's sex life than I do about Larry Craig's.

18 May 2011

Why are Senate Democrats such wimps?

Harry Reid is already bemoaning the likelihood of Republicans blocking the nomination of Goodwin Liu to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals:

“Everyone agrees that Goodwin Liu’s nomination is far from the ‘extraordinary circumstance’ that would warrant a filibuster. The only extraordinary things about Liu are his experience, accomplishments and integrity,” Reid said on the floor Tuesday night.

“I think he should be confirmed unanimously. At the very least, he undoubtedly deserves an up-or-down vote. But Senate Republicans have already forgotten the lessons of the nuclear option. Today, they are threatening to block this highly qualified nominee from confirmation,” Reid said.

Oh my goodness, what can we do? If there was only some way to, I don't know, change the rules of the Senate or something so an embittered minority couldn't block nominees?

In January of this year three senators made a push for filibuster and other rules reform. 50 Democrats, plus Vice President Biden, could have reestablished majority rule. Instead, some Democrats spurned the idea in favor of "some sort of handshake agreement in which the GOP minority would promise to be more cooperative—for instance, by ending voluntarily all secret holds on legislation."

Four months later, secret holds are still being used.

14 May 2011

Gay-rights groups have begun a scorched-earth policy against anybody who opposes their agenda. And the ultimate victim may be democracy itself.

For two years now, I’ve warned that the drive for so-called “gay marriage” was the greatest threat to religious liberty we’ve ever faced. But I think I may have underestimated the threat, because now I fear the democratic process and the rule of law are endangered as well.

Chuck Colson, 2011

It is difficult to understand the arguments of these advocates of social equality of the races. They contend that American democracy demands that the white and Negro races mix and mingle and intermarry. Does it not occur to them that such a condition would destroy the Nation to which they claim to pledge their loyalty? Praise and acknowledgment of the power and greatness of the United States and the contention that whites and Negroes should intermarry according to individual preference are thoroughly inconsistent. Racial intermarriage would destroy the "race of pioneer white freemen" who created this Nation, and it would thus destroy the Nation itself. Who can visualize a future of progress for a Nation of octoroons ? The Negro leaders either ignore this possibility, or have no objection to such a condition, or by their silence they admit that they would welcome such a future.

Theodore Bilbo, 1947

11 May 2011

As the state of New York debates gay marriage again, I worry where the deepest loyalties of legislators lie. Can self-described Catholics (including the governor) break with their church hierarchy, stand up for equal rights, even at the risk of shrill denunciations from the pulpit and the denial of communion?

More and more, I question how anyone can be a good Catholic and a supporter of equal rights for all. So many other churches have reformed their views of homosexuality (just now the Presbyterians did) that clinging to Roman Catholicism seems like a bigoted imus retro, a rejection of all the social progress of the last 40 years.*

* The church has clearly not gotten over what Pius IX said in 1864: "It is an error to believe that the Roman Pontiff can and ought to reconcile himself to, and agree with, progress, liberalism, and modern civilization."

03 May 2011

We are well on our way to erecting a Jim Crow regime in Wisconsin. The new voter ID bill is being discussed at the Capitol.

Rep. Stone asked hearing participants to use care with the word "disenfranchisement," only applying it to situations in which the bill would make it "impossible" for eligible voters to access the polls.

"I'm very concerned about the use of 'disenfranchisement' when the bill cannot disenfranchise people, because that would be unconstitutional," said Stone...

What part of "Voter qualifications have no relation to wealth" does Mr. Stone not understand? This was what the Supreme Court ruled in a landmark 1966 case.

The bill is almost certain to pass. If they value our civil rights at all, Wisconsin poll workers should disobey the law. The New Slave Power* is busy crafting kinder, gentler shackles for the commoners ("much more forgiving!"), and will stop at nothing until their control of all branches of government is assured forever.

* I use this term in reference to the corporations and millionaires who buy politicians and seek to rig every law and social compact in their favor. They are as sinister as the slaveowning aristocracy used to be.

02 May 2011

Russell Arben Fox says:

The moral plane of the universe is not somehow improved by the killing of a man. “Rejoice not when thine enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he is overthrown”–the author of Proverbs had it right.

I believe all that….but I still think he deserved it. He deserved it, because he lead and inspired actions whose consequences, in a very real and specific way, not only left nearly 3000 human beings dead, and which gave rise to an occasionally desperate and often mismanaged war which has killed many thousands more (both innocent and guilty), but which have also generated pathologies that have plagued and damaged American politics ever since. He was hardly solely responsible for these results, but neither could he ever escape the blame...

We did that [trashing civil liberties] to ourselves, but Osama gave us the pretext for doing so, and for that, I guess he deserved what he finally, finally, got. If only I could believe that a well-executed firefight could rid us of all the civic and international damage he has left in his wake.